KUANTAN: The Pahang State Government insists that all enforcement actions against illegal encroachment activities in Cameron Highlands, especially in the Kuala Terla water catchment area, near Sungai Ichat was based on the rule of law.
Pahang State Secretary Datuk Seri Dr Sallehuddin Ishak said, for example, the state government had halted the demolition of illegal farms in the area after some settlers obtained an injunction from the Kuantan High Court on March 11.
However, they retracted their application and withdrew the suit on Sept 30 which allowed the state government to resume enforcement operations..
“The state government is committed to continuing its enforcement actions and will not compromise to ensure the environmental sustainability and people’s interest in Cameron Highlands are realised.
“The Kuala Terla Water Treatment Plant is the most important and largest plant providing more than 70 per cent of Cameron Highlands’ clean water needs, involving 8,332 accounts,” he said here today.
Sallehuddin said the plant had a design flow capacity of of raw water amounting to 855m3/hr but currently water from Sungai Terla can only provide 580m3/hr which is sometimes depleted causing the water from Sungai Ichat to be greatly needed.
He added that the observation by the Pengurusan Air Pahang Berhad (PAIP) also found that the quality of water in Sungai Ichat had begun to recover after enforcement actions with cleanup work being carried out almost weekly by PAIP.
“Based on current plans, PAIP plans to divert Sungai Ichat to merge with Sungai Terla River starting in the second quarter of 2020 as per the original design of the construction of the Kuala Terla plant.
“This action is expected to increase and stabilise the raw water flow for use in Kuala Terla plant as the water supply is currently unable to meet the current needs and development in Cameron Highlands,” he said.
Sallehuddin said the enforcement action was in line with Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah’s call to immediately stop illegal encroachment into the Kuala Terla water catchment area, which was the source of pollution especially in Sungai Chat, after His Majesty visited the site on Sept 7.